Well, today we may just find out that Joey Votto is the Most Valuable Player in the National League. The outcome of the NL MVP vote will be revealed this afternoon at 2 p.m. Mark Sheldon has made a good case that Votto should win:

Votto stood at top of the league in key categories like his .600 slugging percentage, a .424 on-base percentage and obviously, on-base plus slugging (OPS) with 1.024.

Although he played 81 games at the bandbox confines of Great American Ball Park, Votto had one more homer on the road (19) than at home (18). His .349 average on the road led the NL, as did his RBI ratio of one-per-every 4.8 at-bats and a .347 average vs. right-handed pitching. He was second in the NL, just ahead of Gonzalez and Pujols, with a .369 average with runners in scoring position.

Votto finished among the top three in 11 offensive statistical categories.

A month ago, I took a look at the terrific season our man Votto had:

150 games
.324 batting average
.424 on-base percentage
.600 slugging percentage
1024 OPS
173 OPS+
36 doubles
37 homers
113 RBI
7.4 WAR
.439 wOBA

Very, very impressive, especially for a guy who was just 26 years old for most of the season.

How does all that rank against the rest of the league? Well, Votto was first in the NL in WAR, first in wOBA (by a healthy margin), first in OBP and SLG (and, obviously, first in OPS), first by a huge margin in WPA, first in OPS+, first in RC, first in OWP, 2nd in BA, third in HR, 3rd in RBI.* Those are absolutely staggering numbers, and I wish I could say that I predicted Votto would have such a breakout season. Heck, eighteen months ago, most of us would have said that Votto is likely to be a very nice player for many years, but who would have guessed that he’d develop into an MVP candidate by this point in his career?

*Sorry for all those ridiculous acronyms. Trust me, they all say Joey Votto is the wonder boy.

Says Dusty Baker:

“There are carriers and there are helpers,” Baker said. “Joey is a carrier. You need someone who can carry the team. You also need other guys to help out when the carrier is struggling. But the good teams usually have an MVP-caliber player.”

This may be the only one in this series of How Valuable Is posts where there is no disagreement. That said, let’s get the community opinion on Joey Votto. Is he still underrated? What should the Reds do with his contract? Will he win the MVP award today?

Let’s hear it, Nation.

21 Responses

  1. RiverCity Redleg

    Being that everyone agrees he is the Most Valuable Player, I would say he is exactly rated as he should be. Now let’s get him signed to a long-term contract.

    • Ethan D

      Being that everyone agrees he is the Most Valuable Player, I would say he is exactly rated as he should be. Now let’s get him signed to a long-term contract.

      Amen. But I’m not that optimistic about it getting done

  2. Jared

    Has me wondering how many guys have won an MVP that didn’t go on to the HOF?

  3. Brien Jackson

    votto is probably the most valuable player in baseball honestly. Hamilton had the better year, but he’s not that durable. Pujols may be the better player still, but he’s a lot older. The Reds need to not mess around this off-season and get a deal done. 7 years and $110-125 million should be enough in guaranteed money to get him to sign for the long term while still paying him below his market value, but then again he might want Miggy type money too.Anything in the $16-18 million average annual value range would be a pretty good deal though.

  4. shadow32

    MVP. Pay the man as much as it takes.

  5. Steve Price

    Joey Votto is currently the Reds all-time leader in slugging percentage and OPS. Obviously, he has not hit a decline phase at this point in his career, but that’s still rather terrific. He’s points ahead of Frank Robinson (article below) at this time.

  6. Jason461

    So, here’s a question: What’s a reasonable long term deal? I would be totally willing to give him 6 years and somewhere around 100 million of the dollars that aren’t mine.

    Also, one interesting MVP list not, lots of one-time winners aren’t in, but win twice, and you’ve just about punched your ticket. There are a few exceptions where a career really fell apart, though.

  7. pinson343

    MVP for the NL, let’s hope officially. We find out in a few minutes. Lock him up with the Reds asap.

  8. pinson343

    Votto is still underrated by the fans and the media.
    Do you the writers still underrate him ? We’ll find out in a few minutes.

  9. RedinTenn

    Most. Valuable. Player. Period.

    Joey’s final numbers, his consistency, and his intangibles add up to his having the greatest overall impact on his team.

    I’m absolutely useless work-wise until the announcement, making me the least valuable player at my office. 8)

  10. RiverCity Redleg

    Joey wins!!! Joey Wins!!!!!

  11. pinson343

    Joey wins ! I couldn’t work either, once it turned 1:30 PM. The audio went off on my da_n computer, so I had to get the announcement on mlb.com without sound.
    I was so happy to see Joey on video.

  12. Ethan D

    VOTTTTTTTTOOOOOOOOOOOOOO All but ONE first place votes

  13. RedinTenn

    Now I have to get back to work… 🙄

    • RedinTenn

      Now I have to get back to work…

      …but not yet! I’m really proud of Joey, and the Reds. Joey works incredibly hard to improve his game, and he also consistently gives props to his team.

      Now, sign the superstar to the big contract already.

  14. Doug Dennis

    MVP was well deserved. I would not sign him to a long-term deal right now–his value is rather inflated the day after winning the MVP. Let’s see how 2011 goes. The Reds have time on their side.

    Having said that–what a monster season he had. If he can even come close to repeating that, I feel that the Reds should be the team to beat. Easier said than done–those monster seasons are very very hard to repeat.

  15. Steve Price

    I think he’s the real deal. Many of us weren’t happy when the Reds didn’t bring him up a year earlier. I believe he had a .954 OPS in AA Chattanooga in 2006 which was a really good year before he made it to AAA and a cup of coffee in 2007.